Amateur research

08 June 2011 
Getting from A to B while in Sydney
This, I should warn, is all generalized information that I’ve gathered from bookstore guidebooks and Internet research. (Yes, I was that girl this afternoon- the one who sat in the Barnes & Nobles cafĂ©, taking notes on the pile of Australia books I had grabbed from the travel section. And I’ll admit, I was also the one that put the pile back once I had finished. I don’t think Barnes & Nobles would be happy to know that the store doubled as my library today. Let’s just blame it on my college student budget.) Key to note, my research may be subject to change based on my living accommodations. For the first six weeks, I will be living in an apartment walking distance from the Bondi Junction bus/ train station. Bus (or train) transportation will get me to and from my internship; I’m sure my program will cover the information for work travel during our orientation.

In addition to my internship, Sydney escapades will play a large part in my six-week itinerary. Research regarding transportation around the city, therefore, seems an important step in my pre-prep.

Sydney is a major tourist hotspot and kindly offers a variety of tourist traps… especially, when it comes to transportation. Take the Daytripper Pass, one of the cheaper pass options. For $16 AUD, the day pass allows unlimited travel on public ferries, buses and trains, a concept which sounds inviting until second glance at the price: $16 AUD for a day’s travel seems quite steep. I won’t know until I arrive, but travel by foot in combination with individual passes could be a cheaper alternative.

Noteworthy Internet Resources
The site provides a comprehensive look at travel around the city and is worth bookmarking for reference.
Sydney offers two free shuttles. Not yet sure if the routes will be of any help. 
A trip planner site always simplifies traveling via public transportation .

Got on the bus. Now where to?
These are a mesh of ideas also complied from the borrowed books and googled Internet resources. I should point out that I haven’t taken a look at a map, so I've based distances between attractions from my research.

  • For a great view of the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens: Take the ferry to Luna Park, an amusement park, and walk across the Harbour Bridge to the Circular Quay. The Museum of Sydney, a two- minute walk from Circular Quay, is open daily from 9:30 am- 5 pm. $5 for students.

  • The Manly ferry also allows for a phenomenal view of the Sydney Harbour.

  • Opera House tour: A 7 am backstage tour is suggested… but ticket are $155. Pricy and most likely not worth it on a college student budget. But definitely to be kept in mind. Morning visits are advised, as it is usually less crowded. Early birds are also treated to a beautiful view of the ferries entering the Circular Quay. The Essential tour of the Opera house, offered in English, French and German, lasts an hour. Online Earlybird tickets are $28.00. 

  • Royal Botanic Garden and Art Gallery of NSW: Apparently walking distance from the Opera House. Both have free admission. 

  • Vivid Sydney: The clock strikes nighttime and Sydney transforms into, as the event’s site describes it, “a spectacular canvas of light, music and ideas.” 

  • Sydney Tower Restaurant: Most likely a tourist gimmick, but the panoramic view of the city would make dining at the restaurant quite an experience. 

  • The Historic Harbour View Hotel: Offers a stunning view of the harbour.

  • Hyde Park: Notable locations and landmarks surrounding the park include: St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Australian Museum, the Supreme Court of NSW, the ANZAC War Memorial, the Obelisk, and the Archibald Fountain.

  • The Rocks: Located in historical Sydney, The Rocks are home to restaurants, pubs, souvenir shops, markets, music, festivals, etc… The Rocks’s Sydney Visitor Center  provides free information regarding the area and ongoing events. The Head On Photo Festival 2011 is currently taking place. Additionally, the Museum of Contemporary Art is located in The Rocks, open from 10am- 5 pm and free of charge.

  • Taronga Zoo: Admission is ridiculous ($31.50 AUD for students), but it would obviously be silly to pass up a photo opp with a kangaroo.

  • Manly to Spit Bridge scenic walk (or vice versa): This scenic 3 hour and 45 minute, 9.1-mile walk is a must- do, according to my research. This site is a great tool for pre- planning: Manly to Spit Walk.

  • Blue Mountains: There’s several ways of visiting the mountains, from hiking, to cableway, railway and skyway. 

The list, for now, is all research. In a week and a day away this list will translate into reality. 
Odd, yet so unbelievably exciting.

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